Remarks by President Charles Michel after the European Council meeting

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It is a real pleasure for me to have this occasion to explain what are the results of our meeting this afternoon and in the recent hours. We have reached an agreement on climate change. It is very important. It was crucial. It is important for Europe to show a strong ambition, because this topic is very important for the next years. After the European Green Deal announced yesterday by the Commission, after the COP 25, we take this strong commitment: we want Europe as the first climate-neutral continent. We took this decision with respect for many concerns of different countries, because we know that it is important to take into consideration the different national circumstances, and also different starting points. We think also that it is important to show all the possible efforts in order to take into consideration the social consequences. We have also taken into consideration the fact that for one member state it is necessary to take more time before they implement this objective. We will have the occasion by June 2020 to come back in the Council regarding this country.

This is now the next step regarding the next European budget. With our way of working, it will be my responsibility, in close cooperation with the Commission, to try to converge, to try to develop all the possible efforts in order to reach an agreement in the next weeks or in the next months. It means that we will try to develop bilateral meetings at the technical level, and also at the political level with the member states. I will appreciate when we think it is realistic to try to draw to the landing zone, and to try to reach a final agreement. It is very important because we know that we have to discuss many difficult and sensitive topics regarding the next European budget. For example, the level of ambition, for example the rebates, the conditionalities, the balance between the classical policies, on the one hand, and the new policies, on the other hand. Climate change, for example, is a very important issue in this framework. The own resources, and also we consider that it is important to have a good cooperation with the European Parliament, because the European Parliament has also a role to play in order to be able to take this decision. We have had tonight also the occasion to discuss different international topics, especially the relationship with Turkey. We have expressed our full solidarity with Cyprus and Greece. We consider it is important in the future to continue to develop a dialogue with this important country. We know that with regard to migration, for example, it is very important to keep this close cooperation. But at the same time, we know that is important to try to have a strategic vision, in the short term, in the mid-term, what do we want with this important country for the future of Europe. Another important topic is Africa. As you know, we consider Africa is a very important continent for us. That is why we think that the preparation of the next European summit with Africa next year, after the summer, will be very important. We always try to develop this close cooperation with this continent. It means that the Commission with the High Representative will develop the preparation in order to be able next year to have this strategic debate with Africa. We also had the occasion to discuss a very important point for us in the fight against terrorism.



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